Loo Academy

How to Keep a Shower Caddy from Rusting

It’s safe to say that every one of us will get annoyed when the shower caddy starts rusting. Although they are relatively inexpensive, no one wants to constantly buy a new shower caddy whenever you see a little bit of rust.

So, the big question is, can you keep a shower caddy from rusting? And how can this be achieved?

The answer couldn’t be more straightforward. First, you need a simple cleaning solution that can remove rust from the shower caddy without damaging the chrome. The cleaning solution is made of simple kitchen ingredients: water, vinegar, and baking soda.

Once you have a newly cleaned shower caddy, you can keep it from rusting with a few fixes and finishes. And there’s always an option to get a shower caddy that won’t rust.

While keeping the shower caddy from rusting is easy and quick to do, it’s best to deal with this problem early on. So, if rust starts to develop in your shower caddy, follow the steps below to restore your shower caddy to its original glory and keep it shining for a long time.

rusty shower caddy

Why Do Shower Caddies Rust?

Most of the fixtures you have in the shower, like the shower caddy, are made of chrome or stainless steel. While they are durable and should last many years, these materials are not impervious to damage and decay. The primary reason why rust is eating at your once pristine and shiny shower caddy is water and moisture in your shower.

If you have an extra humid shower, your shower caddy is more prone to rusting. Shower caddies made of chrome are especially shiny and bright, but they scratch and rust easily. While it’s typically resilient, the moisture in the shower can cause rust over time.

On the other hand, if you have a stainless steel shower caddy, you may think that it’s free from rusting. But that isn’t 100% true, at least with some manufacturers. While stainless steel is rust-resistant, it can still rust over time because of the welds in its corners and edges. Some manufacturers use cheap production methods, forgoing proper welding techniques.

Shower Caddy Options That Won’t Rust

Going rustproof is the way to go when you’re buying a new shower caddy. You think that chrome and stainless steel may be your only option, but there are other materials that can keep your caddy from rusting.

Some popular choices include:

  • Wood
  • Polyester
  • Plastic

Besides being rustproof, these materials are generally cheaper than chrome and stainless steel. Wooden caddies are becoming more popular these days, especially for tropical showers where wood makes an excellent accent for your décor. But make sure to pick a water-resistant wooden caddy. Teak or bamboo shower caddies are remarkable options.

The only thing you can’t get from these shower caddies is the shine that chrome is well-known for. But if a shiny bright fixture is a priority for you, pick a stainless steel shower caddy from your trusted brand or manufacturer. Make sure to research the brand or the product before purchasing it to ensure that it’s durable and long-lasting.

How to Clean Rust from Your Shower Caddy

A stained and rusting shower caddy is an unsightly blemish on your shower. Not to mention, the rust can get all over your shower products and can also create rust stains on your shower tiles. Maintaining the cleanliness and aesthetic of your shower is easier than you think once you remove that rust from your shower caddy.

Step 1: Remove Rust Using Water and Vinegar Solution

First, remove your shower caddy from the showerhead and decide where you want to wash it. A bathroom sink is as good a place as any, but if you have a bigger shower caddy than what the sink can accommodate, you can do the cleaning in your bathtub or in the shower.

Next, create a simple mixture of water and vinegar, combining equal parts of each in a pitcher or bucket, whichever is more convenient when measuring your mixture. Soak the shower caddy in the cleaning solution for at least 30 minutes. Make sure every rusty part gets soaked in the solution to help loosen up as much rust as possible.

After half an hour, wipe away the rust stains and rinse the caddy to remove any traces of the vinegar cleaner. This step should remove the rust on your shower caddy.

Note: Never use bleach in exchange for vinegar in this step. Bleach will actually set the rust stains on the caddy instead of removing them.

Step 2: Use Baking Soda to Remove Stubborn Rust Stains

Some rust stains are harder to remove than others. The next step is to use a water and baking soda paste to get rid of more stubborn rust stains. What you’ll need to do is to make a paste by adding small amounts of water to baking soda.

Once you have your cleaning paste, apply it to the remaining stains on your shower caddy, then leave it be for several hours. And if you can let it sit overnight, this would be even better.

The following day, spritz some vinegar on the dried baking soda paste. It should create a fizz or bubbles, which will help lift the rust stains from the surface. After that, use a sponge or a nylon scrubber to scrub the mixture off the caddy. Once done, rinse the shower caddy with warm water and let it air dry fully to avoid developing any more rust.

Other Options for Cleaning Rust from Shower Caddy

Besides the simple steps above, you can also remove rust in your shower caddy using a few other methods. One of the practical alternatives is using lemon juice instead of vinegar. The acidity of lemon can also help lift rust stains from chrome surfaces.

You can also use salt with lemon juice for scrubbing rust stains, but be careful when using it as it can damage your chrome’s shiny surface.

Moreover, there are ready-made products you can buy in stores designed to clean rust stains from many surfaces. But make sure to wear gloves when using them and always work in a well-ventilated area. The shower or bathroom wouldn’t be the best place for that.

How to Rustproof Your Shower Caddy

Once you’ve properly cleaned the shower caddy from any rust stains, it’s time to rustproof it to avoid future rust stains.

Polishing with Car Wax

After cleaning rust from your shower caddy, it will likely leave the surface dull, but a coat of car wax can give it a good shine. It will also protect your shower caddy from water and moisture from your shower, keeping it from rusting to some degree. Clean boat wax will also work for this.

However, wax is not a permanent rust solution for your shower caddy.

Rust-Preventing Spray Paint

If you want more long-lasting rust protection for your shower caddy, rust-preventing spray paint is the best option. You can get it from most local hardware stores or department stores, and it is usually available in a range of colors to suit your needs.

Once you spray the shower caddy with this paint, it will be protected from rust or similar damage.

Final Thoughts

It’s not surprising that shower caddies can rust over time. After all, the shower is the most humid part of the house. Moisture plus the frequent splashes of water on the caddy, will cause it to rust eventually, especially if it’s made of chrome.

Thankfully, you can clean your caddy and keep it in tip-top condition with simple ingredients that you have in the kitchen: water, vinegar, and baking soda.

But cleaning the rust from the shower caddy is not enough. Applying a protective coating is necessary to keep it rust-free for many years.

Mandy Phillips

As a frequent contributor to top US magazines and publications in the home improvement niche, Mandy has been known for sharing her expertise on how to clean, organize, and decorate bathrooms.

Additionally, Mandy has immense experience offering lifestyle tips and tricks to her readers.

About Loo Academy

At Loo Academy, our mission is to offer trusted advice for everything related to bathrooms (design ideas, plumbing advice, showering & bathing tips, remodeling guides, and more) — a place where we all spend a great deal of time.

We work closely with qualified experts and follow a thorough editing and fact-checking process before publishing content.

Published content is regularly fact-checked and revised so that the information we provide is accurate and up-to-date.

Legal Info

Loo Academy is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. As an Amazon Associate Loo Academy is compensated for referring traffic to Amazon.com.

The information contained in this website is provided for informational purposes only.

The inclusion of links from this site does not imply endorsement or support of any of the linked information, services, products, or providers.